The Space Between

It’s the space between words on a page that make reading enjoyable. It’s the space between notes in a musical score that makes listening pleasurable.

Hint #3 — Globally there are eight species of pelicans. Only two of the eight species live in North America. During my sabbatical, I won’t see any because they’re wintering in states south of my geographic location. If it were summertime, however, I might be gifted with a sighting.

Life has spaces.

Some are shorter than others—the space between breaths, blinking, and heartbeats.

Some are longer than others—the space between cell phone upgrades, careers, and changing homes.

Life happens in the space between. And it’s meant to be savored.

Do you give yourself enough space?

Reminder, the caveat of the Looking for Laurie game stipulates: “The first person to type the accurate city and state of my sabbatical location into the comments section of the Mar 28 post will receive a personalized copy of Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth for themselves or as a gift to someone else.”


This Is Your Brain On Mindfulness

During recent travels, a walk on the beach had me looking at seaweed as a visual metaphor for the brain…


Much like a pinball machine, the mind bounces from one thought to the next: positive, negative, past, present, future.

Much like a pinball machine, the mind bounces from one thought to the next: positive, negative, past, present, future.


Psychiatrist Edward Hallowell, MD, director of the Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health tells us that:

“People shift their attention from one task to the next in rapid succession [commonly referred to as multi-tasking]. This reduces the quality of the work on any one task because you’re ignoring it for milliseconds at a time.”



Separating out a single thought strand, mindfulness is present moment awareness.

Separating out a single thought strand, mindfulness is present moment awareness.


An article in Psychology Today defines mindfulness as:

“A state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.”


Do you live in the moment?

© Laurie Buchanan

Find me on Twitter @TuesWithLaurie
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Ahem, you’ve got something…

…stuck in your teeth, (or whiskers, as the case may be).


This is my dear friend Willa. Not only do I tell her when she’s got something stuck in her whiskers, I help her get it out. In turn, she cleans my face by getting in as many licks as she possibly can.

True friendship between humans has many components:

  • We tell the truth, even if the message is uncomfortable to deliver.
  • We say pleasant things behind each others backs.
  • We actively listen to each other.
  • We hold each others secrets in confidence.
  • We extend mutual respect and value each other’s individuality.
  • We inspire each other and support each other’s dreams.

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” — Anais Nin

What defining quality do you look for in a friend?

© Laurie Buchanan

Find me on Twitter @TuesWithLaurie
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Growing Toward the Light

In the final week prior to departing our home of 20-years in Crystal Lake, Illinois, we’d almost completely packed the kitchen and ate our meals out or picnic style.

Sitting perfectly still in what seemed like tranquil meditation, an onion remained on the counter. Similar to a novice monk, it began with a tiny spark. In the onion’s case, a small green sprout at its crown. But with time and considerable growth, it leaned — with gentle ease — toward the bright, sunny kitchen window.


Are you growing toward the light?

© Laurie Buchanan

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence
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Sink a Joe — Shift a Shack

When we put our home on the market last spring to relocate from the mid-west to the Pacific Northwest, we received advice from numerous people encouraging us to buy a small statue of St. Joseph and “follow the instructions to the letter” because it would “make the house sell fast!”

Not being Catholic, our concern was that we would be stepping on saintly toes, so when we went to the local Catholic shop for our purchase, we were assured by the managing nuns that it wasn’t offensive in any way, and were once again admonished to “follow the instructions to the letter.”

We buried St. Joseph in front of the house — head down, feet up, facing the street — and said the prayer included with the instructions.


Summer, fall, and winter came and went. Just when we were convinced that we’d accidentally picked St. Slow instead of St. Joe, our home sold to a pre-qualified buyer and everything progressed like greased lightning!

Have you ever used an unorthodox method to accomplish something?

Next Tuesday’s post will be published from the road as we relocate across the country. Stay tuned…

© Laurie Buchanan

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence
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There are four new buttons at this top of this page: About, The Book, The Experience, and Contact — Enjoy!

The Serendipitous Life

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know that rather than resolutions, each New Year’s Eve I select a single word to focus on in the upcoming year. In 2013 it was peace and all of its derivatives.

This year my word is Serendipitythe occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. Serendipitousa magical approach to life.

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” ― Roald Dahl. A magical surprise — the flame draws toward you — when you blow on it with a knife in-between. © Laurie Buchanan 2013.

An enthusiastic proponent of affirmations, this year’s positive supporting statement — I see things I didn’t know I was looking for — targets how I choose to be in the world.

Jose Manuel Barroso said, “What people call serendipity sometimes is just having your eyes open.” And that’s precisely what I will do in this shiny new year — see joyful, beneficial things I might have otherwise missed.

Do you have a focus word this year?